My Norwegian Forest Cat Vizzy was diagnosed with RCM/CHF on May 22 of this
year. He is 9 years old (will be 10 in August). At the time of his
diagnosis, he had been exhibiting no symptoms other than weight loss, which
had occurred very slowly over several months. I attributed it to the
upcoming summer and the heat (we live in Tucson, Arizona), when my cats
usually eat less and start shedding their winter coats, and I feel terrible
now knowing that it was something so serious. Vizzy has never been sick a
day in his life.
Vizzy's heart rate is severely chaotic - he had several runs of ventricular
tachycardia during his initial cardiology exam. I'm an ICU nurse, and I was
amazed at how awful his EKG looks (and how terrible his heart sounds).
Honestly, there are hardly any regular beats at all. His EKG did improve
somewhat after his first two weeks on medications, but the rate is still
very irregular. He is currently on Lasix, Atenolol, Enalipril, and Plavix.
I joined this list for moral support and to hear others' experiences with
RCM. From what I have read, the typical life expectancy is from 3-12 months
after diagnosis, although I am looking forward to hearing about exceptions
to that rule.
Yesterday, Vizzy stopped eating. He has been eating an all canned food diet
(his choice) for several months before he was diagnosed, and he has always
been a good eater. He takes his medications via pill pockets attached to
his favorite treats (freeze dried salmon). He has refused his treats, his
meds (which I have been giving manually), and a vast number of different
kinds of canned food offered at various times throughout the day (dry food
is down all the time). He has also refused baby food (usually a favorite)
and just licked halfheartedly at human tuna and bonito flakes. He hasn't
even wanted any of the typical "last resort" foods that everyone typically
likes, like Sheba and the new Fancy Feast Appetizers.
Is sudden anorexia a typical presentation of worsening RCM? He is not
acting strangely other than not eating. I haven't noticed any unusual
symptoms. His respiratory rate is within normal limits for him. He is
spending more time in the guest bedroom, and he used to spend his days on or
under the coffee table in our living room, so not a big stretch. I don't
get the impression he is "hiding."
Any advice/suggestions/information would be most appreciated. Thanks!
Cheryl & Vizzy
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